Multiverse Social Learning

My colleague (Teemu Arina) recently attended the Mobile Monday conference in Amsterdam.  He suggested that I view a presentation made by Joe Pine II called “Multiverse.”  This presentation was interesting and mind expanding.


Joe presented a framework to help us look at and think about our “real” and “virtual” experiences.  He says innovation should focus on “experiences” rather than on “things.”  We were all into “things” but now we are into “experiences.”  We (as designers) need to create experiences that are worth the admission fee (this is what people refer to as the experience economy).


Joe describes 8 different “realms” – each of which varies in terms of Space, Time and Matter.  The “real” world is comprised of all three (Space, Time and Matter).  What if there was “no space” or “no time” or “no matter?” 


For example:


An “augmented” reality is one in which there is Space and Time but no Matter.  The GPS navigator is a good example.  We use this digital technology to create a new to the world experience.


An “alternate” reality has Space but no Time and no Matter.  You can rent an automobile with a digital tour guide.  This guide talks about the places you choose to go.  This is a co-created experience.


A “warped” reality has Space and Matter but no Time.  Have you ever attended a renaissance festival or a living history museum?  It’s a place (or Space) with Matter but not in “real” time.


“Virtuality” has no Space, no Time and no Matter.  Virtual worlds are the best example of this “realm.”


The “Wii” is an example of an “augmented” virtuality where there is Matter but no Space and no Time.  With Wii you bring your body (Matter) into the experience.


Tools like AutoCad are examples of “physical” virtuality because there is Time and Matter but no Space.  You create something in the virtual world that you later make real. 


“Mirrored” virtuality has Time but no Space and no Matter.  An example is Google mashups like the flu tracker.  Another example is something called gameday.  These two examples provide a different (mirrored) view of what is happening in real time.


An interesting exercise is to “map” a social media solution to the framework and then think about what would happen if you extend it to other “realms.”  I was thinking about discussion threads where there is Matter but no Time and no Space.  I say there is Matter because you bring yourself into the experience.  I say there is no Time because you can navigate through the discussions in any sequence and not in the order in which they’re written.  I say there is no Space because the discussion is not taking place in a particular setting or place.  What if we wanted to add the Time dimension to a discussion thread?  Maybe we can select a discussion thread and “play it back” in real time whereby each contributor is represented by an Avatar in a virtual setting.  We can observe the discussion take place like a fly on the wall.  Kind of like recreating a live chat experience from a discussion thread.


I will spend more time thinking about how we might improve the social learning experience whilst we “consume”, “contribute”, and “interact” with others.  Using the framework suggested by Joe might help me discover new ideas and innovations that I might otherwise never consider.


Please let me know your thoughts.



2 responses to “Multiverse Social Learning

  1. I too have seen his lecture on two occasions via the web. As an alumni of “thinkAbout” and The Experience Economy”, Joe Pine’s perception and model of the Multiverse is intriguing, so much so that a collective study blog has been set up to investigate and unravel the Economic Multiverse so that others who follow Pine and Gilmore’s thinking can collaborate on ideas and applications. Stop by and help others see the multiverse unfold.

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